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opinion

10 — Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Journal of the San Juan Islands | SanJuanJournal.com

Guest Column

Legacies left behind: the importance of Initiative 2012-4

O

By Ken & Kathryn Akopiantz

ur generation inherited a world contaminated with PCBs. They were considered as safe as mineral oil and table salt. PCBs were used in hundreds of applications from insulating fluids, plasticizers in paints, pesticide extenders, caulking, adhesives, to carbonless copy paper. We now know that PCBs are toxic at extremely low levels. According to the EPA, PCBs are a known carcinogen and cause a variety of adverse health affects on the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems. They are an “environmental hormone” entering into the network of natural hormones and disrupting critical stages of embryonic and immune system development. PCBs can cross the pla-

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) pose a hidden danger, just like PCBs centa into the growing infant and be stored in breast milk. PCBs do not readily break down. They bioaccumulate and work their way to the top of the food chain stored in fatty tissue. Ninety percent of our exposure to PCBs is from our food. Most people have detectable levels of PCBs. Our present levels of exposure to PCBs are expected to cause a number of the health effects mentioned above. As early as 1937 it was apparent that PCBs “were certainly capable of doing harm in very low concentrations.”

CROSSWORD PUZZLE Across 1. Rate of revolution of a motor. 4. From a great distance. 8. Indistinct, shapeless form. 12. Make undecipherable. 13. Author _ James. 14. Singer _ Neville. 16. Nearly horizontal passage from the surface into a mine. 17. Golden Girl _ Nylund. 18. _ Devil. 19. New Year in Vietnam. 20. Cut off from a whole. 21. Albanian currency. 23. Author _ Caletti. 24. Make an attempt. 26. Dark-red resin. 28. _ with Mussolini. 30. Request. 32 _ Betty. 36. Paperlike cloth made by pounding tapa bark. 39. Continue undisturbed and without interference. 41. Bluish-black. 42. Play a winning serve in tennis. 43. Tall timber tree of New Zealand with white straight-grained wood. 45. Album by the English band King Crimson. 46. Torrent of rushing water. 48. Author _ Cook. 49. Eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 50. Edible root of the taro. 51. Past tense of "get." 52. Large New Zealand parrot. 54. Brownish. 56. Aquatic plant native to southern Asia and Australia. 60. Strange person. 63. Large open vessel. 65. Conj. (logic) "if and only if." 67. Put to a purpose. 68. Republic in northern Europe. 70. Having inherent physical or mental ability. 72. Actress _ Popplewell. 73. Ordered by the papacy. 74. The _ of the White Worm. 75. Tomorrow Never _. 76. Bare, sandy tract near the sea. 77. Acronym for Iowa Research and Education Network. 78. South American woodsorrel.

By 1966, PCB contamination of the worlds food supply was documented. It was not until 1979 that the production of PCBs was banned by the EPA. PCBs still and will for decades contaminate the environment from improper disposal and hazardous waste sites. Monsanto, the primary producer of PCBs in the United States, maintains that “it acted responsibly in the manufacture of PCBs”. Like PCBs, there are many “technological advances” today. One of these is genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Monsanto, the leader in this field, says that GMOs are “as wholesome, nutritious and safe as conventional food” and that they are “acting responsibly” with this new technology. Like PCBs in the 1930s, the human and environmental effects of GMOs are not understood. The unintended consequences of forcing DNA to combine from unrelated organisms have raised concerns with geneticists around the world. Independent studies have linked GMOs to immune and digestive disorders, food allergies, cancer and antibiotic resistance. Independent studies have shown that claims of greater yields, profitability, and reduced pesticide usage, with the adoption of GMOs, are false. Unlike PCBs, genetic contamination from GMOs does not break down. Small amounts of genetic pollution from GMOs have the potential to grow exponentially. Compared to previous generations, we have easy access to this information. It is this information that we must act upon. It is time that we allow human interests (not corporate interests), common sense and sound independent scientific research determine the legacy which we leave. Vote “Yes” on Initiative 2012-4. Initiative 2012-4 will make our county a GMO-Free growing region. It will not affect what is sold in stores or the raising of hybrids. Only those who knowingly violate this law will be responsible for abatement costs. Approving this initiative will show that the residents of our county are united with concerned citizens around the world, believe in appropriate uses of technological advances, and care about the planet and its inhabitants. For more information visit: gmofreesjc.org. — Editor’s note: Ken Akopiantz of Lopez Island Horse Drawn Farms is the sponsor of I-2012-4, on the Nov. 6 election ballot.

Sudoku Down 1. Travels over a surface. 2. Prepares an edition for publication. 3. Examine closely. 4. Fictional character in Marvel Comics who first appeared in New Mutants #42. 5. Act of throwing one down. 6. East Indian tree. 7. American country dance, which starts with couples facing each other in two lines. 8. Coffeecake flavored with orange rind, raisins and almonds. 9. L.A. _. 10. Toward the mouth. 11. The _ Collector. 12. Dislike intensely. 15. Seize. 20. Short branch of a railway. 22. Member of a fraternal organization that supports various charitable causes. 25. Muztagh _, mountain peak in the Kunlun

range in China. 27. Awkward, inexperienced youth. 29. Large boat used to transport merchandise. 30. Fully developed person from maturity onward. 31. Entire sequence of ecological communities successively occupying an area from the initial stage to the climax. 33. Sticky substance used as an adhesive. 34. Item at the end. 35. Variant of yea. 36. Trivial lie. 37. Represented by the generic formula HA. 38. Undecided. 40. Jafar's sidekick. 44. Dark protective fluid ejected by cuttlefish and other cephalopods. 47. Move the head in agreement. 49. Aluminum coin and monetary unit of Vietnam. 51. African antelope.

53. Entangle hair. 55. Being of service. 57. Enveloping layer of body tissue. 58. Widely distributed lichens with a grayish or yellow pendulous freely branched thallus. 59. Freedom of the _. 60. Acronym for Off Street Parking. 61. Two items of the same kind. 62. Add impurities to a semiconductor in order to modify its properties. 64. Road to _. 65. _ N_stase, former Romanian professional tennis player. 66. _ Britton, a well-known English television presenter. 69. One of the British Isles in the Irish Sea. 71. Obstruct. 72. Bustle. Answers to today's puzzle on page 28

Fill in the blank cells using numbers 1 to 9. Each number can appear only once in each row, column, and 3x3 block. Use logic and process of elimination to solve the puzzle. The difficulty ranges from 1-10 (easy) 11-15 (moderate) and 1620 (hard). Today’s puzzle is level 18. Sudoku and Crossword answers on page 28

Journal of the San Juans, October 24, 2012  

October 24, 2012 edition of the Journal of the San Juans